Elisha Hoffman was a pastor and hymn writer (over two thousand of them!) who was born in 1839. I’ll skip over his other notable accomplishments, and mention that he died November 5, 1929. He lived through the pandemic of 1918; and “Black Monday,” the stock market crash that caused many suicides and led to the Great Depression occurred just a couple of months before his passing. What a wonderful contrast: anxiety, panic, and despair on earth gave way to the joy and peace that being with Jesus brings.
One of his hymns is Number 156 in the Warrior Songs: “When the Kingdom is Come.” The lyrics of verses one and three are as follows:
“The world will not be ruled by might when the Kingdom of Christ is come.
All men will love and do the right when the Kingdom of Christ is come.
Injustice will be overthrown, unrighteousness no more be known
And Jesus will be King alone when the Kingdom of Christ is come.
The reign of peace will be complete when the Kingdom is come.
The earth will bow at Jesus’ feet when the Kingdom of Christ is come.
No more will cries of pain resound; no more will sin and want abound,
But brotherhood and love profound when the Kingdom of Christ is come.”
As we consider our current circumstances (and the plenteous opportunities for anxiety, panic, and despair) it helps to know that the ultimate solution doesn’t depend on man’s efforts to achieve his own utopia. Rather, the Creator of the universe and the One who knows us inside out is working to give us that which He knows is what will ultimately satisfy.
I noticed in Isaiah 28 another contrast, comparing man’s efforts to the only sure foundation: “Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem. For you said, ‘We have made a covenant with Death, and we have an agreement with Sheol; when the overwhelming catastrophe passes through, it will not touch us, because we have made falsehood our refuge and have hidden behind treachery.’ Therefore the Lord GOD said: ‘Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the mason’s level. Hail will sweep away the false refuge, and water will flood your hiding place. Your covenant with Death will be dissolved, and your agreement with Sheol will not last. When the overwhelming catastrophe passes through, you will be trampled.’” [CSB]
As we enter into the Sabbath day, I pray that despite whatever your natural feelings may be, you are comforted by the knowledge that you are anchored to a sure foundation, by which true rest and peace are available, and are yours, through the blood of Jesus who died to give it to you.